Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Quotes

Quote #4

At the meal we sit together:
Salve tibi! I must hear
Wise talk of the kind of weather,
Sort of season, time of year (lines 9-12)

The speaker has to sit with Brother Lawrence at every meal, and he hates every word that comes out of his fellow monk's mouth. "Salve tibi" is Latin for "hail to thee" or "how's it going," but the speaker uses italics to show his mockery for the overly formal speech of Brother Lawrence.

Quote #5

What's the Latin name for "parsley"?
What's the Greek name for Swine's Snout? (lines 15-16)

The italics in the first line seem to indicate the speaker's contempt for what Brother Lawrence has to say. He adds (under his breath, perhaps?) his own question: asking for the Greek word for "Swine's Snout," or dandelion. Is he calling Brother Lawrence a weed, like a dandelion, or is he just using a pun on the common name for dandelion to call Brother Lawrence a "Swine's Snout"?

Quote #6

Oh, those melons? If he's able
We're to have a feast! so nice!
One goes to the Abbot's table,
All of us get each a slice. (lines 41-44)

This might not sound like the most hateful passage of the poem at first – isn't the speaker just being grateful that Brother Lawrence is sharing his melons? Hardly. The "…so nice!" is just dripping with sarcasm.

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